Sunday, December 31, 2006


2 Brothers and Their Sister Vist a Photo Booth

(pssttt!!! Double Click to make the photo bigger!)

I thought these pictures were interesting, but a word of warning: I find almost everything interesting.

These are Anna’s grandfather’s sister and two brothers.

It looks like they visited a photo booth as a joint adventure. Notice each row is a different sibling. They must have approached the photo booth with a sack full of hats or at least a sack of three hats. I would have loved to watch them in action between flashes, quickly changing their poses and sometimes slapping on a hat.

Notice that the head leaning on the left hand pose, both brothers did it on the 3rd pose, but the sister did it on the 2nd pose and she did it just the opposite with the right hand.

This morning on the CBS Sunday Morning Show they had an article on how much money is being spent on New Years Parties. They didn’t stop there, it went on to the vast amounts of money being spent on wedding, receptions, birthday parties, and more.

Maybe three or four million bucks will be spent on one party…. Just to show a lavish show of wealth.

They also had a clip the CEO of Tyco giving his wife a birthday party with Jimmy Buffet as the paid entertainment which the whole affair cost millions, millions of Tyco’s money.

I think essentially it is of the rich (haves) showing off their wealth and the poor (have nots) have to tolerate it. Some poor cleaning woman who is barely getting by on her minimum wage doesn’t want to face that shit.

As I mentioned in a previous blog entry we went to High Museum in Atlanta to a Louvre Exhibit. What was there then was the Collection of the French Royalty. The French Royalty and the upper class back in the late 1700s were spending huge amounts of money of art and other things to show their wealth – again, the haves and the have nots.

Remember what happened next.

Parts Left Out of the Waiting Room Report

I was so carried away about the man demanding to know why there was a $2 extra charge to his doctor’s visit, I forgot to mention two other little observances I made a couple days ago:

1. One man was sitting in the waiting room looking around at all the framed paintings. His name was called several times before he snapped into reality. He jumped up and as he was walking to the back with the nurse he explained why he didn’t noticed when she called his name. He said he was completely absorbed in looking at the paintings, and he threw in that they were all original. He was saying in his own way, “Wow!” Which made me look at the paintings more. I think they were Thomas Kincaid. About 4 or 5 of them…. The very multi-colors cottage in the woods type…. If they were Thomas Kincaid paintings I bet they were prints, not in a waiting room of a doctor’s group.

2. As I mentioned, I was near the check-out counter. One lady checking out was talking to a doctor, or I think he was, he had the scrubs the doctors wore there, and they were talking about the Caribbean. They must have been talking about the lobster there. He said, “Well, bring me back a lobster.” She asked did he really mean it and went on to explain that you haven’t lift until you eat a certain type of lobster caught off of a certain Caribbean island, but she added, they are only good if you eat them there, they lose their special taste if they are transported. She again added, “But you haven’t live until you eat an lobster from there?”

Haven’t lived? Doesn’t that mean I am a non-living being? When I leave this life I hope the life insurance company doesn’t use that as a technicality not pay off: “Well, Mrs. Hunter, your husband must have lived in order to have died. Your husband never had lobster from the Gookamoo Island in the Caribbean, so he has not lived, so how could he die? Claim denied!”

Work Easy, Not Hard

Yesterday we spent the day taking down Christmas decorations.

I know, I know, in a previous blog I said we were not going to rush to take them down. We started taking a little of it down and one thing led to another. Now, we are finished.

We undressed four artificial trees and loaded up 15 big boxes of Santa Clauses, snow men, elves, angels, reefs, and I don’t know what all. That was about nineteen trips to the basement when you include the artificial trees. That is at least 38 trips up and down the stairs – after all, you have to go the boxes, that have our day to day household decorations and replace them or “swap-out”.

I got my exercise.

I got a work saving idea for next year. Next year, we will bring up the decorations and the trees and decorate the house as usual. But, when we are through, we won’t carry it back to the basement. We will just throw white sheets over every thing.

Instead, we will move to the basement until next Thanksgiving. Why not? Our downstairs basement is equal in square feet as our living area upstairs. The basement covers the under the whole house. We will have plenty of room. We will lives like moles in the basement among the washing machine and the dryer, tools, old stuff we can’t stand to part with, books, junk, and so on. We will only have to come up topside when we are hungry and want to go to the kitchen or need to use the bathroom. Although, I think we could carry keep a bucket near by to cut down on some of those trips as well.

When company comes to visit we will just holler out the basement door in the back part of the house and tell them to just come on in, through “this door” and they can sit on all our old stuff.

Then, Thanksgiving night, the Christmas season officially starts, so we can move back topside, remove the sheets, flip on a switch to light up all the Christmas lights and we can stay there all way until the January the 1st.

Who says life has to be hard?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Stanley & Kin

These two pictures were taken when my uncle Stanley returned from doing his part in WWII.

Stanley fought on the Beaches of Normandy, on D-Day, December 6th, 1944. He didn’t like to talk about it.

In one picture he has his arms around two of his aunts, who are sisters. On the left is Tade Tyson Carr and on the right is Anne Tyson Crowder.

The other picture, a couple more people have been added: Anne’s daughter Evelyn Crowder and Stanley’s nephew Jimmy.

Notice that Tade, no matter what, has a disapproving look or sneer on her face.

All in these two pictures are dead now.

Saddam Is Number 3

The headline in this morning’s paper in big bold font was SADDAM HANGS.

If deaths of celebrities come in 3s, and if Gerald Ford and James Brown were the first two, then Saddam must be number 3. What a diverse 3!

I think President Ford was a good president. To me he was humble, non-pretentious, and apparently honest. I didn’t approve of him pardoning Nixon, but he didn’t ask me, and that was his right to pardon whomever he damn well wanted to. Ford brought a split country together. Good for him.

James Brown was a great entertainer. Many times I find my mind humming to itself one of James Browns’ songs… I think the one my mind likes to hum the most is “I feel good!”, which is fine, but I wish my mind wouldn’t try to spin in one place at the pause. James Brown spent some time in prison, I think I heard 2 years in the slammer. I haven’t heard much about that but have heard a lot about the grieving non-widow who claims she is a widow… the news have zoomed in on her on every sentence she has to say. Why? Probably the same reason reality TV goes over so well… close ups of people’s emotional faces dealing with a dilemma or crisis is good business. However, I am not sure sending James Brown’s body on a tour is a good thing. They did that with little King Tut’s mummy but that was different, not a recent death to mourn. To me a touring corpse that they change the suit at every stop puts in the glitter and gaudiness of show business when wakes and funerals are suppose to be somewhat different.

And Saddam is number 3. That is the swiftest act of punishment I have heard of recent times…. No appeals in this court! From what I heard I am sure the man deserved to be punished or executed. If you think this was quick justice, it could have quicker when we first invaded Iraq and Bush said he wanted Saddam dead or alive. Bush was already Judge and Jury before the man was even caught.

I wonder if Saddam Hussein’s body will get a whistle stop tour of Iraq?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Why Job Probably Lost and Gained his Name

In a recent entry I was telling about Winston Tyson and mentioned the fact that she adopted her little brother, who was my g-g-g grandfather, and changed his name from Job Tyson to Eugene Hargraves Tyson.

Did you wonder why she changed his name? I know I did. I can only speculate.

Their father was also named Job Tyson. That meant little Job was a Junior. There is a possibility that the older Job disgraced his name and Winston changed Job Jr.’s name to escape the disgrace.

During the Revolutionary War the oldest Job Tyson (c1760 – 1803), as a young man did some sort of vandalism to General/Lord Charles Cornwallis personally.

Job was caught and arrested and was brought in front of Cornwallis for his punishment. At that time in history in South Carolina, young Americans were hanged for less.

However, Cornwallis handed down a fate worse than hanging. He forgave Job. The General paroled Job, saying he was just doing what mischievous young men do, pranks, and maybe have even praised him for his creativity.

Job was then labeled a Troy and spent the rest of his life trying to prove he wasn’t. In those days nothing was worse than being a Troy – which was looked on the same the same as a traitor would be looked on, or spat on. Land was taken away from them and they were generally scorned by their neighbors.

Job got affidavits from his brothers and neighbor saying it was all a misunderstanding and he was served the Continental Army well.

That may take care of why Winston changed his name from Job but doesn’t explain why she gave Job the name of Eugene Hargraves Tyson. Here are the only connections I can find: (1) Winston and Job/Eugene had an uncle by marriage on their mother’s side named William Hargrove. And, their father, even though labeled a Troy (2) was in a militia in Hancock County, Georgia (after they moved out of South Carolina) there was a man in their unit with the last name Hargraves. If they were in the same militia unit they were in the same district – in other words neighbors. Who knows?

This statue represents 106 Deaths

I am still lingering at the High Art Museum, aka, Atlanta Art Museum.

This statue, a Rodin replica I think, memorializes the 106 members of the Atlanta Art Association who were killed in a plane crash on their trip to Paris June 3, 1962.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Louvre Out Visiting

Here are two works of art that we saw in the Louvre Exhibition at the High Art Museum in Atlanta. The one with the lady whispering in the bearded man’s ear is called SAINT MATTHEW AND THE ANGEL (1661) by Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn. The angel is suppose to be giving Saint Matthew words of inspiration. The other one is called THE FALL OF THE GIANTS (1620s) by Anonymous – which looks like insane men in Hell to me.

So, I always wondered what sort of person Anonymous is. I know he is the kind to slip comments on your blog to try to sell you something, but he can also draw giants or men in Hell.

I was impressed with both paintings and no I didn’t sneak taking pictures of them. The Saint Matthew is a post card we bought and the Fall of the Giants is October 2007 of the calendar we bought in the gift shop.

A Visit To The High Museum of Art

I must say, when the security guard came up to me as I was taking the above picture she was very polite when she asked me if I had a camera permit. She also looked as if she could be very polite and firm if she threw me and my camera off the 5th floor balcony for not cooperating with her. I cooperated.

Today we went to the High Art Museum in Atlanta. Man!!! Has that place changed since our last visit a year or two ago.

Several new buildings and a heap of art have been added.

Presently, and I think for the a year, they are displaying six to eight rooms of art on loan from the Louvre. Some of the art on displayed was created near 0 AD, give or take a few years. As one enters the louvre section you are given a little audio player gizmo. Many of the art pieces have a number beside them. You punch in that number and with your earphones attached to the gizmo it gives you a brief 101 type education on that particular art, maybe some about the artist, what certain things may represent, the history surrounding it, and so on. It was very interesting.

And if I understood it correctly, next year they will swap out with some more stuff from the Louvre which will keep interest in art generating – almost in a recycling fashion.

New Methods at the Doctors' Office

This morning we went to a doctors’ office. This particular outfit we haven’t been to in several months.

Things have changed.

Now, there are two computers stationed where at the check in desk. You press different selections to sign in. It is user-friendly if you know about computers.

But many elderly people just don’t like computers. Some are even afraid to touch one, not sure what pressing the wrong button might do. This morning I saw a lady behind the desk, lean over showing an elderly what to touch. She didn’t look very happy.

I hope they learn they can’t shove these types of things down people throats. They do have competition… and a person not computer savvy might just decide they rather go to the competitor doctors group that don’t make you sign in with a computer.

What do you think the first thing is asked when you start signing in? Not your name. The first thing they want to know is your Insurance company and number… of course! The most important first, that is the American Way.

While sitting, I was sitting close to the checkout area and a man came up to the counter to check out and he asked what the two dollar extra charge was. The check-out lady hem-hawed around but didn’t actually know. The man said the doctor did the same procedure as he always does, so what was the two dollars for? The check-out lady said she would have to check with the doctor…. As if that was to scare the man away and said go ahead, he wanted to hear it.

The lady paged the doctor to come to the checkout counter. And not only was the man eager to hear why there was a $2 more charge but I was interested also. Anna came up and checked out and was ready to go before the doctor that was paged came forward.

I almost suggested to Anna that we sit down and relax a while… or at least long enough to hear what explanation the doctor had…. But we moved on, darn it.

The Hands

I read recently that 15% of drivers admitted that they pick their noses while sitting in traffic.

That is over one person in 10. Or the key word is “admitted”. How many pick there noses and didn’t admit it? If it the real number is twice that, is almost one person in three… if twice the number of people who didn’t admit it is twice the amount who did admit it then it is 45% traffic nose pickers. Almost one of every two you shake hands with very day.

With that thought in mind, reminds me of a time we were on our way to a middle school band concert which one of our sons was to be in. We were driving a mini-van with dark windows.

At a traffic light in the next lane we saw our son’s band teacher. We were on our way to the same destination.

In the privacy of his own car he was picking his nose and looking at his finger admiring the results of his dig. In privacy behind the dark windows of our Voyager mini-van we were having a good laugh.

The concert was good and afterwards the band teachers was shaking hands – people wanted to shake hands with the maestro. Those hand those people were shaking hands with directed some very good music minutes ago.

Should I have rushed around and told people not to shake his hand, those fingers were plastered with booger slime a while back and did anybody see him was his hands?

No. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. Some of them shook hands with me didn’t they?

How Religious is "Jingle Bells"?

The day after Christmas we went to the Hallmark store for their “After Christmas Sale”. Just about everything was marked off 40 or 50%.

Boy was it crowded and two long line to the cash registers.

We pretty much loaded up on cards that impressed us, either by the theme of the scene or the humor of the card. It didn’t even occur to me to check to see if they said “Happy Holidays” (gasp!) or “Merry Christmas”.

So, as far as I am concerned, by not even thinking about it, was my way of saying “Who cares? I don’t.” and meaning it.

I know of two people that complained because the cards available at Hallmark did not say “Merry Christmas”.

If you want only “Merry Christmas” cards to distribute I think in a way you are saying, if you do not believe in Jesus then you don’t deserve my good wishes. My good will towards men only goes to Christians - that doesn't sound very Christian.

It seems “Happy Holidays” would cover Christmas and other religious holidays and if you want to narrow your happiness requirement you can write in “Merry Christmas” as a personal note – that would give you something to handwrite, to make it more personal.

You paid for the cards and it is your right to have what you want on the card – go far it.

The only problem I have is when something of a certain religious influence is displayed or celebrated in a public-paid place. Such as for years the park in the Square had a Manger scene. That park was donated by the Glover family but is maintained by tax payers money (and people punished to do so many days of public service), so I think a Manger scene is not the thing to have there, which they don’t any longer.

But I think on the campus of a Christian School is probably okay, and we will turn our head on the public funding they get. Other religious schools can do their thing as well.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Carolyn's House Is Now A French Bakery

We gave one of our sons a gift certificate to a little French bakery and sandwich shop in Marietta.

He mentioned he has eaten there a few times and really appreciated it.

Before Christmas I paid the little bakery a visit to buy the gift certificate and I was impressed also. The food looked good, the table places were nice and cozy, and the two women who I think were the owners spoke with a French accent. While there I noticed a couple of the customers wanted to show off their French lingual skills and chatted to one or the other lady in French and they chatted right back.

About the only thing I know is “Oui” and “Oooo La La” so I decided I would not chat with them in French but talk to them in the universal language of cash money for a gift card, which they understood perfectly what I wanted.

The little French bakery occupies a house on Glover Street in Marietta. I spent from age 7 to age 14, living around the corner on Manget Street.. My friends lived up and down Glover Street.

In the house the French Bakery was in a girl I went to school with named Carolyn and her family lived.

Carolyn was tall and awkward and had no social skills. All the boys thought she was horrible and made her a joke. I felt sorry for her.

I hope Carolyn grew out of her awkward ugly duckling stage and developed into a swan and became a model and is now worth millions and never gives those idiot boys in her grammar school class a thought.

Winston Tyson and Cathy Greene

In a blog comment not so many back Suzanne mentioned that it seems that I am related to everybody. With that in mind:

I just finished 1776 by and still have it on my mind. In the book General Nathaniel Greene is mentioned throughout the book. He was a hero of the Revolutionary War.

Here is a moment of a brush of history with a relative. My great great grandfather was Eugene Hargraves “Job” Tyson (1798-1868). Job’s real name was Job Tyson, but his sister Winston Tyson adopted him and changed his name to Eugene Hargraves Tyson.

Winston was a school teacher.

After the Revolutionary War the Georgia State Legislator gave Mulberry Plantation to General Nathaniel Greene and his wife Caty. Mulberry Plantation is northwest of Savannah about 10 or 15 miles, on the Savannah River. Then, after they started the plantation going well, General Greene died, which left Caty the job of running it.

They had small children. Cathy Greene ran an advertisement for a school teacher to live on the plantation. Winston Tyson applied for the job and got it.

Also, Eli Whitney ran the ad and went to the plantation to apply for the job and found the job had already been filled by my g-g-g-great aunt. Even though the teaching job had been filled Cathy invited Eli to spend a few days visiting before traveling back to his home.

While there, as they say, the rest is history. He invented the Cotton Gin with the help of Cathy Greene’s comb – which changed slave labor in the south.

And a few years later President George Washington visited the plantation to pay his respects to one of his favorite generals.

Not only that, for shortly after that General “Light Horse Harry” Lee. Who also was a Revolutionary War General visited the Mulberry Plantation and Mrs. Cathy Greene. Light Horse Harry was Robert E. Lee’s father. While visiting Mrs. Greene, he dropped dead.

Many years later Winston Tyson died in a retirement home for teachers in Augusta, Georgia (not that this has anything to do with the story).

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Shaken, Not Stirred -

And don’t spit in it either.

We went to a theater to see the latest James Bond movie “Casino Royale” today.

Many people may not remember this, but there was a James Bond movie with David Niven as 007. I think it came out after “Dr. No” and “Thunderball”. For some reason Woody Allen was a comic relief in it, as if David Niven as a James Bond wasn’t enough comic relief.

The latest “Casino Royale” was pretty good. I say pretty good. I think Sean Connery and Roger Moore played a great James Bond. They had a certain wit about them as they cold bloodedly kill somebody – they would shoot an enemy between the eyes and say something witty like “Maybe this is more to your taste” or something like that.

This James Bond, Daniel Craig just kills them with no expression or wit, like a paid thug.

Judi Dench plays M again. A stern but caring boss-lady

There is plenty of action. The action comes on to your fast and high energized. I found myself groping my armrest several times during a good fight.

The bad thing is that the story unfolded in a very predicable way. I whispered to Anna several of my premonitions of what was about to happen – which I’m sure she appreciated, nobody likes surprises do they?

Christmas Is Over - Or Is It?

Christmas is over.

All that is left is the food. We couldn’t eat all the food we prepared. We even sent food home with everybody that wanted some, and still have an abundance. We bought more ham and sirloin roast than we needed with the thought of it is better to have enough than running out.

Speaking of the sirloin roast: The new rotisserie did a fairly good job. I got several complements on how good the meat was. No need to thank me, thank Mr. Rotisserie.

Wait! The food is not the only thing that is lingering around. The Christmas decorations are still hanging or sitting around. We decided to take our time putting it away. We have always put away the Christmas decorations by the New Year, but decided this year not to set a deadline. No need in rushing into a heart-attack. We will take our own sweet time.

The gifts. It would just be plain rude and self-centered to quit interacting and gather all your gifts up and go to another room and piddle with them. All that will come in due time - your interacting with your Christmas gifts will last months and months.

So, we can’t say Christmas is over. We still have the food, decorations, and gifts. About the only thing over is the 24 hour TV showing of Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story. It was played one after another from Christmas Eve to Christmas Evening. We had it on a lot, and have seen the movie several times in the past, and each time I saw it I noticed or picked up on something that went past me the other times.

And our immediate family (plus a son’s girlfriend) got under one roof, not once but twice two days in a row, which was the best Christmas joy of all.

I hope all y'all had a Merry Christmas also.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Mildred's Angel Tree

I know at a quick glance this looks like an Angel proving her faith by walking over a bed of red-hot coals. Wait! It is an Angel roosting on top of a small Christmas Tree in our living room.

The Christmas Tree belonged to our 78 year old neighbor Mildred.

Mildred was a very kind elderly lady. She always was eager to help. If she wasn’t off on a global trip with her group you could find her in her yard working. She always had a little beagle dog by her side.

Mildred’s husband left her and their two sons for another woman. Even after he left she continue to help his mother from time to time when she needed help. She was an angel.

One time when I thought she was on one of her trips she called me and told me she was in the hospital. She said, “Eddie, I am eaten up with cancer! I am dying!”

Someday I will go into detail about her last days.

When she died her two sons had a dumpster delivered at her house and begin putting just about everything in it. But to be fair, the oldest, did call Anna and say she was welcomed to drop by to see if she could pick out any mementos before they threw everything thing away. Anna was going on a business trip, so couldn’t.

After she returned her and another neighbor Brenda went through the dumpster looking for something to remember Mildred by. Anna found the artificial Christmas Tree.

The tree has angels on it. Sometimes we call it Mildred’s Tree and sometimes we call it the Angel Tree and sometimes we call it Mildred’s Angel Tree. We pay tribute to her every Christmas season.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

1776 by David McCullough

I just finished David McCullough’s “1776”.

I thought it was an excellent book. The book tells of many little known facts of the people involved with the American Revolution on both sides, which makes it doubly interesting.

I was somewhat disappointed at the end to discover it stopped at the end of 1776 when much more of the war was to be dealt with. But what did I expect? If you read a book called “2006” you don’t expect to continue into 2007 do you?

It tells of Washington’s defeats and his whip-ass feats.

The book looks in detail of the lives and personalities of George Washington, Nathaniel Greene, and Henry Knox so much that I feel like I personally know each of them.

I can almost see them do their dirty-bird dance after crossing the Delaware River and taking over Trenton, the day after Christmas, 1776, with George hip-hopping saying, “Who Da Man?” And generals Greene and Knox, saying, “You Da Man!”

Good book!

Jean Shepherd talking and A Chirstmas Story

The other day I saw a *Cingular commercial on TV that took the idea of Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story” movie and ran with it. Everybody has seen the movie “A Christmas Story” and people related to it, so I’m sure people lit up with they saw a near duplication of it in the commercial – they did the part where the blond headed kid with glasses was much anticipating his visit on Santa’s lap in a department store and before he got to tell him all Santa gave him the boot which sent him down a chute. And Santa was saying, very drying and bored “Ho Ho Ho.”

That got me thinking about the person who wrote “A Christmas Story”,Jean Sepherd (1921-1999).

In the Navy, in our barracks of HU-4 (Helicopter Utility Squadron Four) late at night I would tune in on the NYC radio station WNBC (I think) and for about two hours, probably from 10pm to midnight Jean Shepherd would talk and talk. He would talk mostly about his memories growing up in his formative years. And he would elaborate.

Can you imagine talking 2 hours a day, 5 days week of your memories? That is ten hours a week you literally have to cough up. I googled Jean and learned he is credited for talking over 5000 hours of memories on radio.

Plus he wrote long articles for Playboy magazine, Help magazine, and others!

At times, when maybe his mind drew a blank, something like writer’s block, without writing – Talking Block? During these times he would pull out his kazoo and play. That was enjoyable too, for a while, anyway.

My mind just reminded me of a first cousin’s husband who probably could come close of talking 5000 hours non-stop. Each time we run into them he talks and talks non-stop. We ran into him and my cousin at Penny’s the other day and he talked and talked... it got to a point where I was looking for a pause in his flow of sentences to look at my watch and tell them we had move on to do something by a certain time… but I think we finally solved the problem by nodding our heads and slowly walking backwards and he talked and talked, and finally the sea of people got between us and them and we broke out in a run. It wasn’t quiet like that, but could have been, almost.

Another Christmas Tradition

Here is another Christmas tradition I stumbled on yesterday that I didn’t know anything about.

Yesterday we went to Anna’s beauty shop for both of us to get a haircut. Because Anna is only one-handed she cannot cut my hair this time, so the guy that takes care of her hair took care of mine this time too.

The little old house with all paved parking around it instead of a loan looks small on the outside, but on the inside it looks much bigger.

There were a lot of finger foods and sweets and people just kept bringing more. I had a couple of spicy sausages that were pretty good, and a few home made sweets that were tasty as well.

I didn’t know they did that. We bought a dozen Krispie Kream Donuts to bring. Somebody put them with other foods yet to laid out. They had a system. I remember when I used to go to my uncle’s barber shop around Christmas time there would be nothing like that… maybe a verbal “Merry Christmas”… but that was pushing it.

This house of beauty caters mostly to the elderly it looks like. More than a few old women got around with walkers and canes. No sheik slim young women that wanted the certain cutesy curl dangle on their forehead or anything like that.

I noticed the main reading material there was The National Enquirer.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Gryla - The Christmas Lady

Here is an interesting old Christmas folklore of Iceland:

During the Christmas season Gryla and her 12 sons terrorize the countryside with cannibalistic orgies and they prefer children, and preferably naughty children.*

So, have you been naughty or nice? Which list to you want to be on?

*Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Christmas Collection, p75.

Ho Ho Ho

When you see Santa Clause going “Ho Ho Ho…” have you ever wondered if he is laughing WITH you or AT you?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Every Road of Life Has a Dead End

This morning I read that an old friend died. She was a teacher at my grammar school. She taught the 5th grade, but not my class. She taught 5A, and I was in 5B.

Her son and I were in the same class through school. She knew me pretty well. At recess, if I got a little rambunctious she could almost foresee what I was up to and put a halt on it – I thought she could read my mind. Maybe it takes a trickster to catch a trickster.

In the past few years I attended a few funerals of old class mates and a couple of times we sat together. We would point out little known facts about the deceased and his friends and family as the funeral proceeded. It was almost similar to two critics sitting in the balcony whispering comments about a concert in progress.

As I told her things she didn’t know her expression was like a child’s wonderment.

Her husband died in WW II and she raised her two sons as single mother. After they graduated from college and on their own doing well she remarried.

Sara was 88.

A Christmas Story

Down at the end of our street, the last house on the left lives an elderly couple. Mr. and Mrs. Anthony C. Tony is always nice and soft spoken. However, the Mrs is a bitch. The few times I have spoken to her she has always been rude and snappy, but generally when I speak at the grocery store or someplace she looks the other way. I think she must have me confused with Bob across the street, or she considers us the cut from the same tools or something.

Their address is 2258 CXXXX Drive. Our address is 2285 CXXXX Drive. On occasions a postal carrier with their digits confused delivered us their mail. I always carry it to them so their mail won’t be delayed – which when I deliver it, she snaps it out of my hand without a “thank you”. She, on the other hand, if she receives our mail, takes it back to the post office and complains about the carrier – which delays our mail. And what good does complaining do? Human still make errors, that is the human factor, which the Postal Service considers a 5% error ratio acceptable.

So, the only good she does is get to delay my mail a day or two.

Yesterday I heard a big rumble and looked out the window and there was a big Federal Express truck back backing up in our driveway, down to our house. I ran out to see what this was about and the driver unloaded two big Dell Computer boxes.

I asked the driver, “Are you sure this goes here?”
“You are 2285 Cxxxx Drive aren’t you?”

I bent over to look at the label to see for myself and saw it was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Anthony C. I told the driver that the numbers were crossed. It was suppose to be 2258 instead of 2285 – the last house on the left.

He asked was I sure and I said yeah, I recognized their name.

I could have delayed them getting their new computer a few days by accepting the packages, then after the driver was out of sight, calling Federal Express saying this didn’t belong to us, and they would send somebody out in a day or so to reclaim it, then get back with the Dell Company to have them research the order, or they could return the computer to Dell and let them figure it out for themselves.

But I didn’t.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Critter Watching On Christmas

Today I fed the critters. This is kind of like a pre-show warm-up feeding. I haven’t fed them for a couple of weeks and they have probably went elsewhere to find a handout. The food today is just to entice them, so they will get whiff of the birdseed, sunflower seed, Indian corn, and suet in the air. Of course they can come and eat all their little tummies can hold… but it is not their Christmas Dinner. I will feed them again, either Christmas afternoon or Christmas morning.

Now, I just want to let them know there is food here and for them to keep coming back for more. I want them to make a big show Christmas day. We will have five or six people over. I want the little critters put on a good show. I put two feeders on the windows in the den and one of those is something I have tried in over a year, safflower. Squirrels, as a rule, don’t like safflower, but squirrels around here are known to break rules in order to get what they want – we will see.

I also nailed to a tree a little stand with a nail sticking up. The trick is to have the nail rammed in the ear of corn – then in order for the squirrel to eat it, it will have to set on a little wooden chair…. While the squirrel is eating for survival, we can laugh at it on the inside, stuffed with food, and say, “look at that crazy squirrel, it thinks it is a human!”

Of course, two different types of suet will be available for the flesh eaters. One is suppose to attract woodpeckers and the other is suppose to attract birds who enjoy berries and worms… you can see the berries in the glaze of white suet stuff, but I don’t see the worms, maybe they are the white glaze.

Also, I cleaned out the bird bath and put fresh water in it. After the feathered ones eat they can join their friends for a quick water splashing time, then take a good shit in the water for their friends to mull over and fly away.

After our dinner and people leave they better grab what they can and fly get the heck away. I’m getting my BB gun out and chase the little freeloaders off….wanting something for nothing…. The very idea!

All The King's Men - pretty good movie

Last night we rented the DVD movie “All The King’s Men” starring Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, James Gandolfini, and Anthony Hopkins.. We thought it was very good. The movie was made from a book by Robert Penn Warren. It is about a man named Willie Stark and his politics and him as governor of Louisiana. Willie Stark is a fictitious character – but the name is just about the only thing fictitious, it is a very close resemblance of Huey Long’s life story and his dealings and even his death. Democratic advisor James Carville was one of the producers.

In the movie almost every sentence uttered is a quotable quote, that could probably out meaningfully quote any of Shakespeare’s plays. Really, just about every sentence spoken had a universal appeal to it…. Almost.

And the movie had a lot of symbolism in it. Probably many of the symbols went over my head, but even with that, I saw there were a lot. Many of the scenes are of them on the road going from one parish to another. It seems every time they pass a little cross shrine on the side of the road, and each time there were three crosses.

I thought it had an interesting cast. Three of the main cast members were British. And two of the cast were Italian. Can you imagine Tony Soprano with a cornpone southern dialect? I think the British have a way of turning their accent to Southern American, when they want to – I’m not sure Yankee Italians can.

I thought it was a good movie and I am not just saying that because Huey and Earl Long were my 6th cousins, twice removed.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Seasonal Gratuities

This morning with our delivered Marietta Daily Journal was a Christmas card from the carrier wishing us a Merry Christmas. I noticed he had a Muslin type of name, not saying he is of that faith but I would not be surprised if he is. His card used the word Christmas and it wished us a Merry one.

Of course there is unspoken reason he wished us a Merry Christmas. So, we would wish him one back. His address was included. He is hoping we might see it in our hearts to show our appreciation in a monetarily sort of way, which we will.

He has our paper in our driveway by 5:30 most mornings, and not later than 6:00 am, and if it is later than that things were beyond his control, like if the press broke down, which happens.

His card reminded me of when I was a paper boy near downtown Marietta. The area my route was in a couple of years ago was the highest crime rate in the town. But not anymore – the houses were bulldozed away and is being replaced by more expensive houses. And in these new expensive homes you are less likely to have domestic violence and if there is any crime at all it is the white collar crime of embezzling.

On my route, most weeks I was lucky to earn $10 or $15, considering the people that skipped out without paying and some people who couldn’t afford to pay that week and so on. But it Christmas time everybody came through and it all became worth-while. I delivered papers in the rain, sleet, and snow – and people showed me their appreciation in Christmas gratuities. Two or three of my customers gave me $100 bills. And a lot gave me between $10 and $25.

So, with my memory still intact, I plan to mail the paper man a gratuity and a thanks.

We also give the garbage men some cash and Sandi, our box section postal clerk who goes beyond what is required to get our mail to us. And, get this: We monetarily thank the carrier of this route that does not deliver our mail. He should, by all rights, return our mail to the sender when it comes to him with our street address. But each year I send him a Christmas card thanking him for “taking care of our mail”…. Which he hands off to Sandi the box section lady. It has to be done. Not only do we get all the mail from people who don’t have our PO address but I get a big friendly wave from the carrier and sometimes even a honk if I am out in the yard working when he does this street.

But, I think these people who service you in one way or another need a little recognition once a year to show they are appreciated. They sure don’t get it in their pay check.

More Mall Rats

From time to time I see a new face and if I see that new face again, in a new environment or situation, I remember them… I think. Of course, if I forgot them, I would have no proof I remember them… anyway, as I was saying:

Two weeks ago at Town Center Mall I was to meet Anna outside Vitamin World. I was sitting where I was suppose to and in front of me was a rack of little red strollers that looked like little sport cars with a big handle on the back for Mama to push the babe.

After a while of sitting I figured out by watching the people do business with the rack that held the little sports car strollers that a parent would pay $5 to rent the stroller. And when and if they brought the stroller back and shove it in the rack on a little track they would get one dollar refunded to them. Actually the stroller rent was only $4 if one took advantage of their bribe to return the stroller, or instead of a bribe, I guess it is a deposit.

This one rather big brute with two brute looking women and a gang of kids came to return their stroller. They were all eating ice cream and the ice cream was melting over the little red sports car stroller their kid was in. The three grown up could not figure out how to shove the little red vehicle into the rack on the track for it to register the click to deposit their dollar. They tried and tried. The did it forceful, they did it gentle, each one tried it. It reminded me of a group of Neanderthals trying to make a machine do its magic.

I don’t know if they ever got their dollar back or not. Anna showed up and we went off. I do know, if they left the little red stroller there, the next kid in it would be stuck to the seats because of the ice cream that it had to sit in.

The following Wednesday at Krogers I saw the same family. The big crude little brute with the jet black hair and his two big women. I wonder if one was his sister or sister-in-law. They kids were all over the place that all three would scream at them to “get back over here!” but was too busy to follow up to see if the kid obeyed their command or not.

I saw them entered the 15 items or less automatic scanning device line where you scan your own groceries. I thought this should be good, about 4 or 5 days before they couldn’t put their little stroller in the right slot to get their deposit.

I had things to buy so I kept on shopping. About 15 minutes later I walked by and they were still looking at the directions above the counter.

I picked up some more stuff then cruised by the magazine rack and flipped through some magazines. A good 10 or 15 minutes. I walked by and they were progressing. They had 3 items on the other side that made it that were scanned. I picked up my frozen foods, which probably took a two to three minutes. I walked by them and they had scanned two more items…. Very slowly… this time they were arguing among themselves about something.

I went to another self-checkout scanner and checked out and I as I was driving away I saw them and their kids leave the grocery store…. I should have hung around to see what kind of car they knew how to drive.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Let Me Count the Ways I Offend Thee

Sometimes you see things that are just out of the ordinary. Sometimes they are disgusting and sometimes just strange or out of beat with everything going on around you. This fits all of those.

Town Center Mall is a huge mall with a huge parking area surrounding it. As most indoors malls are these days, they appeal to the upscale shopper.

Even in the parking lot you see mostly new shiny expensive cars.

Yesterday, outside Parisians, was an old heap of pickup truck that looked like it came from the 30s. It had no door, the thing had mud splatters all over it… and it appeared not to have sides on the pickup’s bed. Several Confederate flags of the stars and cross bars were on the truck.

There were about 5 or 6 young people in their early 20s or late teens, all hanging around the truck. Men and women. They were dressed in small straw cowboy hats, and sort of rough and tough Levis and body shirts. They were playing loud country music.

I saw a black lady walk by and she looked nervous and scared. I don’t think they said anything to her, but that didn’t stop her from being scared of the red-neck image she had to walk by, and a group of red-necks at that... groups are dangerous…. They have to out-peer-pressure each other.

I know it is a free country and they had every right to be there, providing they obeyed the rules that that their rights ends where the other person’s rights begins.

But somehow, I think their sole reason there, outside Parisians, probably the most upscale store of an upscale shopping center was to offend. Part of me wants to say, “Go for it!” And part of me wants to say, “Why do you want to offend these people?”

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Anna's Operation & I Got Floaters! Friday's Epic

I got floaters!

I don’t mean the kind that floats on the surface of the water in your commode. I mean little bits and fragments of the membrane that cover your eyeballs.

My floaters started Thursday while I was driving. First I thought it was a gnat pestering my left cheek. But I would swat right through it. Then, I thought it was a tiny spider in that had a thin web line attached to my eyebrow and he/she was swinging back and forth for fun.

And at times it looked like the Moth Man, right up in my face.

After almost an hour of swatting gnat and spider ghosts in front of me I determined I had floaters. A couple years ago Anna found out she had floaters and our eye doctor told her that if was more or less a common occurrence and nothing to worry about unless you see blips of light.

Friday morning at 5:30am I was taking Anna to the hospital for a Carpal Tunnel operation. It was dark. I saw blips of light

I chose not to say anything about it because Anna might have demanded I make a U-turn and take care of my eyes and let her scheduled operation go.

The blips of light looked to be on my left eye as a trickle of drops that fell in bright illumination from the top of my eyeball to the bottom.

At the hospital Anna’s operation went smoothly. The anesthesiologist had plenty of one-line jokes that kept us laughing and the three nurses seemed very efficient.

In fact, the nurses seemed too efficient. They moved about silently, not talking and each knowing what the other must do at certain times… I mean, they talked to us, but they didn’t talk among themselves, it was almost like they were evil beings with a master plan.

The operation was schedule to start at 7:30 but at 7:30 the doctor had not shown up yet. The three nurses and the anesthesiologist stood around in their scrubs with their arms folded talking. I’m sure they were not standing around on their own time. Time is money. The doctor was 15 minutes late. Who paid for the 15 minutes? I suppose that is why we pay high insurance premiums, to allow for some down time.

The doctor strolled in at 7:45 with a back pack. What is a sixty year old man doing strolling in the hospital with a back-back? I wonder if it has anything to do with his image… that is an image of youth, a back pack. I wish I had suggested to him his image would look more youthful if he had a skateboard strapped on his back.

They wheeled Anna out and I was told what waiting room to go sit in, which I went to. There was free coffee and a basket full mostly of fruits but also some packaged Little Debbie pastries. Another reason insurance rates are what they are. I poured me a cup of coffee and ignored the fruits and looked over the pastries. There were only 5 pastries, each a different kind… they had blueberry, banana bread, grain, and I forgot what else.

A young lady came in and went to the basket and picked her out a pastry. That would leave 4. I decided before anybody else came in I had better grab one if I was going to get one. I got the blueberry muffin.

About an hour later the doctor came in, without his backpack, and told me the operation went great.

And shortly after that a nurse came and let me back to Anna’s recovery room which she was out cold.

Again, the 60 year old teenager wannabe doctor came in and checked her vitals and he said she did great. What he was really saying was that he did great!

When she woke up and felt up to it she was released. I helped her get dressed and the nurse came in and went over instructions of what she could and could not do and what she should do she added, “Oh yes, somebody sent you flowers.” And she left and came back with a little roses arrangement in a vase. It was from the wannabe teenager 60 year old doctor who operated on her.

I’m sure he would not past on that gesture of kindness on to the insurance payees would he?

We drove home. On the way home I told Anna about the lights I was seeing – the blips of light. After I got her settled she insisted I call our eye-doctor’s office and explain tell him.

I called and talked to the nurse Stacey. Stacey looks like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Why is it always that the nurse that is the doctors’ examination room assistants are always named Stacey or Tracy and look like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

She said I needed to come right up. I said I couldn’t, my wife just got out of surgery, what about Monday? She said she would talk to the doctor. She called back in about 4 minutes and said, in so many cheerleader-type words, to get my ass up there NOW!!!

Anna said she would be fine. So, I headed to the doctor near downtown Marietta. I got a premium parking place right up front by the door. Then, an old woman came up and wanted to know if I could help boost her off, her battery was dead. I said sure, so I left my premium parking place and met her at her beat up old truck over a block away. I did all the work, hooked the batteries up to the booster cables and after we got her truck running I unhooked everything and shut the hoods. She shoved a $5 bill at me. I refused it and told her to pass the favor on.

Then, I went back and believe it or not, the same parking place was available.

I was more or less rushed right in. The nurse dilated and deaden my left ball, first the nurse looked at it in all different angels then the doctor came in and did the same.

He said the floaters are common among people my age and even younger, and it more or less solves itself in time. But, the light means part of my retinal cover is tearing away also… which is bad, is very serious. He said if that happens they will have to reattach it will laser surgery. He told me if doesn’t progress than it will probably be okay, but if does, then they need to do something.

He told me not to make any sudden moves with my head and in general take it easy. He said it is crucial now for the next three or four weeks. I am to see him again in about 3 weeks.

And I came home and Anna was fine. I have to help her with some stuff that takes both hands and take notes for her, but she quickly learning how to maneuver around with just one had. We have an appointment with the young 60 year old teenager doctor the day after Christmas to have the stitches removed.

As I typed the above, thinking about her next appointment I thought about his waiting room. A whole big wall is decorated with record album jackets, concert books, and concert posters, all signed by famous singers, such as Paul McCartney, The Boss, and so on… I can’t off hand think of them all, but enough to cover the wall. Is he a groupie too? I think a skateboard may not be such a bad idea after all.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I think I must be magic.

Every time, not sometimes, but every time I look through my undershirt drawer I can only find the kind I am not looking for.

For instance yesterday, I wasn’t going anywhere so I decided an old tee-shirt that is kind of frazzled around the neck would be good… I try to get our money’s worth out of everything. I finally found one of the kind I wanted, but it took some digging through new tee-shirts.

Now, this morning, I am taking Anna to the hospital for out patient surgery and thought it would be nice to wear a decent new undershirt. For a while I couldn’t find any but some that lost their whiteness and/or were raggedy.

What is it? You may ask. The answer is simple: I have powers that far exceed normal men.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Joe is Dead

This Joe is also known as Peter Boyle.

Anna and I say “Joe” when we speak of Peter Boyle. He was Joe in the movie “Joe”, that is where we first noticed him.

The movie Joe is about a middle class man who lived near Manhattan, maybe on Long Island or Queens. I forgot. It was about the ‘60s. Joe’s teenage daughter runs away and Joe goes looking for her among the hippies of the Big Apple. He gets in the middle of anti-war marches, psychedelic art, he hung around with young people hearing them tell him that someplace along the way, the U.S. of A. took a wrong turn. Its been a long time ago, I forgot the details of the movie.

From time to time we would see Peter Boyle in a movie, some well known like “Young Frankenstein”, some not so well know, and the first one to recognize him would punch the other one and say, “That’s Joe!”

We thought Peter Boyle was a great actor. It seemed he would take any part, big or small, big movie, or even independent film makers’ kind of movie and do his role so good.

He wasn’t above working in TV sitcoms, which I think some of his fellow actors and actresses have.

I think he and John Lithgow rate at the top of the pile of dedicated actors and actresses – they both played good guys, funny guys, bad guys, dumb guys, and have avoided been typed-cast… but we almost did that for Peter when we labeled him as “Joe.”

Who or What Really Won?

A person I know the other day, in a bragging manner, said he was proud of Sears. They were brave enough to use the word “Christmas” this season.

Brave enough?

When the masses are on your side, I don’t know if “brave” is the right word.

Wall-Mart is also “brave” enough to use the word “Christmas” Christmas signs are all over their stores. And so are other big department stores.

I think the marketing departments at these stores found that treating everybody equally and avoiding the word “Christmas” a costly error. Many people boycotted stores that did not use the word Christmas.

I don’t know if you can chalk that up for one for the Christians or for the sweet sound of the cash register.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Before I worked for the Marietta Post Office I was a Data Technician at the Atlanta Post Office for about 14 or 15 years.

Our department had worked 24/7 and had 37 people in it. Our job was to see that the 8,000 Atlanta Postal employees were paid correctly. We did this by computerized manipulation before there were personal computers. We used what we called transactors and plastic hole punched cards that each card represented an employee. We would put the Holarath coded card into a card reader of the transactor and make whatever adjustments or data entries that needed to be made by changing digital dials.

We had reason to be out on the work room floor many times to talk to supervisors and employees. We knew a good portion of the mail distribution clerks on all three shifts because that who we saw the most.

In the central office we worked at also was the main place for semi-automatic mail sorting by the LSM clerks running the LSM machine.

The LSM machine was a huge long machine that had on one side 12 seats with a console at each seat. The LSM clerk would sit in the chair and by air suction at the end of a mechanic arm, quickly place a letter in front of the clerk and he would glance at the letter and key in where that letter would go. It is according to what section he is working in as to what would be keyed. If it just came in the door the LSM machine would be set up for states. The next machine would be Georgia. The next metro Atlanta,, and the next Atlanta, to one of the 50 plus stations. A LSM clerk had to key a minimum of 100 pieces of mail per minute. That is more than 1 and 1/3 per second.

I think now the LSM machines are antiques. Now, only very few LSM machines are around. Most of the mail are read and sorted by opt scanning, most of it is untouched by human hands now. Only the hard to read mail gets human attention.

We never got to know to know often the quiet regular employee who would report to work, never late or never call in. Only the ones that we had to adjust his time is who we dealt with and got to know, plus the ones that marched to their own drummer – we got to know them too.

One marcher-to-his-own-drums was a hyper guy named Lee. Lee, they said, was a genius and had several degrees in something that had any no money earning power at all – something like the mathematical theory of genetics as to defining what a person is going to be in life, based on his genetic make up. He was a PHD in his field.

Doctor Lee had his own drummer.

He was tall with not an ounce of fat on him. He was young looking with a crew cut. I think he had a crew cut because it reflected less care. He constantly clapped his hands as if he was flushing his highly energized flashes away. If you tried communicating with him about the only response you would get is: I’m fine thank you or Yes or No, I don’t know. Nothing substantial like you really talked to the guy. He always wore baggy pants and a white shirt. He never smiled.

He worked through his breaks, including his lunch break. When it was time to get off, he would almost hurriedly past by his co-workers clapping his hands, to slap away that energy that was building up constantly.

Lee talked to himself. If you walk by him you would hear him constantly talking to himself as he keyed the mail zipping past him.

To make things a bit more interesting, he not only talked to himself, but he talked to THEMSELVES. He had a several people living in his brain. We listened to him enough and put our information together to come up with conclusion that he had his own voice, a very masculine deep voiced guy, a woman that was very temperamental, and a kid. When Lee Masculine would have a fierce argument with Lee Feminine another voice, of a child would start singing very loudly to drown out the other two voices arguing.

One night a new employee was assigned to work next to him and after about four or five hours of the four voices playing tricks on one another, singing, fussing, arguing, the girl went home sick, she couldn’t take it anymore. She asked for a transfer to another group to get away from what she thought was a mad man.

I was watching Monk on TV tonight and I thought of Lee. I haven’t seen him since the mid-80s since I transferred from Atlanta…. But I bet he still walks full speed, clap his hands and has at least four voices in his head trying to be heard.

Ed Sworn In

My father sworn in as Chief of the Cobb County Police in the early 50s.

Dr No

Yesterday, I was in the area of Kennesaw Mountain and pulled in the parking lot of the Kennesaw History Museum. I do this from time to time, to (1) see if they have new interesting publications at a decent price and (2) to use the restroom.

As I opened the door an elderly Asian couple was coming out. As I always do, I held the door opened for the couple to exit. They politely thanked me and started back chatting in their mother-country language. It was easily to deduct they were about to walk up Kennesaw Mountain – or maybe they had already walked up and down and just came in to use the facilities. Whichever.

I started to step inside and right behind them was another little short Asian-looking man. A straggler from the elderly couple? The only thing this guy was dressed for very cold weather… he had on a toboggan, down-insulated jacket and trousers (which made him stiff to walk), and a 6 ft tall walking staff. In that getup he would perfectly natural posing for a picture half way up Mount Everest. But here in sunny Georgia, at noon, with a temperature between 65 and 70?

He said “Thank you” in a whispery voice. I recognized that rasping voice and then I recognized him - I knew exactly who he is! He is not an Asian. He is Dr., C., who retired about a year or so ago.

I nodded at him and something like, “Doctor..” Which he seemed delighted someone recognized him and with a big smile asked how I was doing. That is a greeting-type “How are you? (no details please)” And I said, “fine, how are you? (I couldn’t help you if you told me any details).”

Dr. C. practiced internal medicine and was a retired military doctor.

I remember back in the late ‘60s Anna went to this doctor once and only once because of his terrible bed-side manner.

However, my mother and father went to him. I don’t know why they went to him. He was high and mighty, rude, and never could get their medicines right.

When it was discovered Daddy was a diabetic Dr. C. would prescribe something and maybe he feet would swell, and he would prescribe something else and all his arms and legs would become dark red…. Daddy also had high blood pressure so that had to be delt with along with diabetes – It kind of reminded me the “eat me”s in Alice in Wonderland one will make you too large the other one makes you too small, etc

After Daddy had died and Mama had Parkinson’s disease she could not move a muscle. If she fell, it took more than one person to lift her. If she fell, first my sister would try to get in touch with me, which was not always easy, because I worked 10 hours each day, she called the local fire department to help get our mother back in bed or in a wheelchair.

The local firemen were glad to do it and always told my sister not to hesitate calling them.

I usually helped to get her to the doctor. We would line up a couple of doctors appointments and maybe even a beauty shop appointment to get the most of the outing.

One time I remember we were sitting in Dr. C.’s office and my sister was telling the doctor the latest on how my mother was doing and she said something like, “Last Monday she fell, and I couldn’t get Eddie, so I called the fire department…”

Dr. C., interrupted by saying, “You did WHAT!”

“Called the Fire Department…”

“At tax payers’ expense?”


“What if there was a fire? You were keeping those men from being ready!”

And we all got a lesson in civic responsibility and fiscal responsibility. I don’t think he ever got around to her ailments that day, he was disgusted with us freeloaders on the system.

My sister should have told Dr. C. that she, at Christmas time made the men at the Fire Staion at Midway Road a box of brownies every year (which she really did). That would have changed Dr. C's opinion of us.

In the next few visits we continued to get civic lessons so my sister finally had Mama changed over to her doctor, a woman doctor, who is very patient friendly and has a great bedside manner.

That first time, mentioned above, that we were receiving our lessons of responsibility from Dr. C., I noticed a back pack and a pair of hiking boots over the corner that he was piddling with between patients.

Now, he gets to hike up and down Kennesaw Mountain. Good for him.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another Mill in the South

Speaking of old mills of the mid 19th century, in nearby Roswell, Georgia, was the Roswell Mill.

Roswell Mill was owned by the founder of Roswell, Georgia, Roswell King. He was a New Englander, Connecticut, I think. Roswell was looking for a good spot to have a mill near a good river and selected an area on the north bank of the Chattahoochee River in Cobb County.* And in an area where he could probably get cheap labor. Thus, he founded Roswell. And he invited his family members and good friends to become the city’s first elite** of the town.

When Sherman began his swath of destruction through Georgia his men were destroying mills in their path, unless they were foreign owned – then they would honor them as not Southern owned, therefore, they got to stay in business. Roswell King made a Frenchman temporarily president and of Roswell Mills. When Sherman’s officers were inspecting the mills they were making Confederate uniforms and other items to aid the Confederate war effort.

The 400 or so Roswell Mill Workers, mostly women were arrested as traitors and sent to northern states to work in the mills.

The picture above, Adeline Bagley, is a distant relative of Anna who was a Roswell Mill worker. She lived 1825-1910. It is a sad war story. Adeline was arrested in 1864 by Sherman’s men and transported with hundreds other to Chicago to work in a mill or factory. At the time her husband Pvt. J. Buice was in the war. When he returned, he waited for years, then assumed she had died, remarried. She returned, on foot, in 1869. Her husband already had a family. As far as I know she spent the rest of her life alone. War is Hell.

*Now Roswell, Georgia, is no longer in Cobb County. It has been re-mapped to be in Fulton County.
** One elite family in town produced Martha Bulloch, who was the mother of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Old Mill in Acworth

Yesterday Anna and I celebrated our 39th anniversary. We went to eat at a new restaurant we have been reading about,The Old Mill in Acworth, Georgia, about ten or fifteen miles north of here.

The Old Mill was really an old mill. The history of the place based on their website tells of John Cowan, who left his home in Acworth, and along with two of his nephews with to the Black Hills of Montana (I thought the Black Hills area is in South Dakota) to mine for gold. They had fair luck and had a good find the Spring of 1864. Then, a few years later, came back to Georgia.

John Cowan returned to Acworth a wealthy and built the “Old Mill”, which then was a new mill. He was single.

I have seen the Old Mill for years when I went down Main street of Acworth. It is beside the railway tracks, which probably had something to do with the mill business and a mode of transportation. Up until recent it was a big hollow hull of a three storied building with a huge tall smoke stack.

The landmark of a smokestack is still there, but they closed in the brick hull and made a beautiful restaurant.

When we drove up to their parking lot their was a sign saying “Valet Parking”. It was just a small parking lot. Why would they need valet parking? To give it a flair of richness I suppose. I kept on going. I pulled into the next parking lot which was a youth organization athletic association, which was another old building by the tracks converted. It also had a sign, “No Restaurant Parking”… they were on to us.

I turned around and drove past the restaurant, crossed over the railroad tracks onto Main Street to the pubic parking. Then, we decided we were being too cheap for our anniversary… so we returned to the valet parking and went into The Old Mill Restaurant.

When we entered the hostess asked us did we have a reservation. Anna said, “No, should we have?”
She said, “No.”
Then why ask?
She took two menus and led us into a big opened room. As we walked through, we went by another room, that you could see several people inside talking and laughing. You could also here live piano music and somebody crooning, probably while playing the piano.

In the big opened room there was one other family eating. This was in the late afternoon, an odd time for people to eat…. Reservations?

The waitress was very nice and helpful.

The menu was very reasonable. We both ordered mountain trout that came with two vegetables. I ordered cheese grits that had tiny shrimp in it and mix southern vegetables, which were grilled cooked. Anna ordered green beans and I forgot what else. I think each dinner was about 15 bucks, but with drinks, appetizers, and dessert we upped the bill to $60, which still isn’t bad.

Before we left the room filled up with people. I was amused by an elderly man sitting next to us ordered coffee and asked for honey as a sweetener and mentioned that last time they went across the tracks and bought some honey. And when we got to the parking lot it was full too, the valets were having to run to the parking lot across the tracks, so everybody earned their money.

The trout and all of it was delicious. If I was a rater, I think I would give this joint 5 stars. But, remember, I would give Brandi’s World Famous Hotdogs 5 stars too (not really - maybe 4).

The Wright Sisters

Not to be confused with the Wright Brothers.
I like the "downhome" look of this picture.
The one of the left is Lessie Wright, Anna's grandmother. The other two sisters: Maude who married Lem Guffin and Lilla, who never married.

Commies In Comics

Here is a unique comic book. It is called RED MENACE. The story line takes place in 1953. It made a new story line out of headlines of yesteryear.

A Captain America type of superhero named The Eagle has been called in front of the House of UnAmerican Activities Committee (HAUC). Joseph McCarthy asks The Eagle has he ever been a member of the Communist Party?

And The Eagle said no. Then the Senator pulls out a picture of The Eagle and a Russian Super Hero socializing in a bar.

The Eagle proud fully admits he and the Russian super hero are friends and they fought the Nazi together in WWII and they each have saved each other’s life many a time.

The bottom line was that he and thee Russian super hero were friends. The Eagle was stripped of his American Super Hero – status, and that was his downfall.

HOWEVER!!! The comic was numbered “1 of 6”. There are 5 more issues for him to get out of it and off the Black List. I can almost promise you The Eagle will join forces with Edward R. Morrow in a future issue.

This numbering system is a new concept I noticed in comic books recently. The comics are numbered a certain number of a total: 3 of 5,; 1 of 4, etc. It is not like the old days when comic books went on until they just fizzled out.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

'Tis The Season for Christmas Shopping

Yesterday Anna and I spent the day Christmas shopping. We spent most of the day at Cumberland Mall shopping. It is a mall in Smyrna we used to go to over 30 years ago. Recently the mall did an uplift, or is presently in the process of having one. It appears to be attracting the upscale shopping crowd now… the yuppies and the fur-coat crowd. I almost expected some well-dressed person with a Cumberland Mall logo on his/her sports jacket to give us the once over… after all, an upscale image is only as good as the upscale customers.

By dark we were entering downtown Marietta. Every December most of the antique shops in Marietta stay open every Friday night until fairly late – giving the Christmas spirit of shopping to the downtown Square area.

A certain item we are determined to get, for some reason, seemed more likely we would find it in one of the many antique shops in downtown Marietta. Wrong again.

However, we had another experience of just how small of a world Marietta can be. We were in an antique store that for years was my uncle Herbert Hunter’s Barber Shop. They knocked down a wall and now the antique shop took up the barbershop and Reeves’ Feed Store next door. Inside what used to be a barbershop I could visualize how it used to look: A row of framed ads down one wall, which the waiting chairs were under. Every so often a spittoon would be between two chairs. At the end of row of chairs was a Coke machine that sold bottled drinks for only a nickel. One time in the paper they had an article about Herbert refusing to go up on his prices of haircuts or the price of drinks out of his Coke machine. At the end of the room was shoeshine stand a little room built with no ceiling. It was just sort of a cubical. In the cubical were barber supplies and a toilet.

The lady who was in charge was on the phone. She was a pleasant looking elderly lady. When she got off we asked her what could she help us find and I told her I got many haircuts “in this room”. Our conversation went on to where did your uncle Herbert live in Marietta, and so on. She mentioned she worked at the First National Bank and I said so did my sister and Anna said so did her aunt. She knew Anna’s aunt and my sister. She wanted to talk more about Anna’s aunt Eloise and her two grandsons, asking the latest about them. And she knew Anna’s mother. One time Anna’s mother was an executor of her aunt-in-law estate and she invited this lady up to look at the all the antiques in the house. The aunt-in-law was a miser and never bought new furniture – all her belongings were antiques.

She also told us about the man who owned the long block long building who died a couple of years ago at 92. In the back of the one of the retail stores of the building he had a shop. He worked on things and repaired them. He worked on old clocks, old scales, and anything intricate. He loved doing that, he said it was kept him going and his mind sharp. And, because it was a self-medicating kind of activity, he did not charge for his services – because it was his pleasure. You don’t see much of that.

By the way, now that the man is dead, his wife has just approached the city council to change a park near their house to a dog park and name it in his honor, I haven’t heard if it got passed or not.

We Have Been Married 39 Years!

Today Anna and I have been married 39 years!
And it has been a 39 happy years.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rhett & Scarlet

What a young debonair dashing couple! I wonder if this couple inspired Margaret Mitchell’s Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler? Surely the handsome fellow was a high ranking officer in the C.S.A. and probably a spy too, not unlike a Civil War version of James Bond. And his lady companion, a lady for sure, who knows as any good Southern woman how to put up a good fight. They are such a lovely couple!

N-Word, HB Word, RN Word, and other Words

I remember within a year or two on the news Georgia politician Zell Miller (Governor & Senator) had one of his temper tantrums when he heard the word “hillbilly” used. I forgot how it was used. I forgot if it was referring to him or a group close to him, but whichever, he was offended and blew his top.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people think whoever pitches the biggest temper fit is the one that wins the debate.

It appears that Zell is offended by the word “hillbilly” just as blacks are offended by the N-word. I guess that is rightly so, usually the N-word or the word hillbilly is used in a demeaning kind of way, if it is used by someone outside of that group.

And there is also the word “Red-neck” which is a word to cut down a particular segment of people, and “White-Trash” would be another. Red-necks and white-trash people get a big kick out of red-neck jokes and white-trash jokes if it is told by their own…. I know.

But, how should “outsiders” refer to these words? I think the “N-word” rules should be followed. I suggest for hillbilly, if one is not a hillbilly, use the “HB-word”; Red-Neck = the “R-N word; and White Trash = WT word.

But there is also the “Trailer Park Trash”. “The TPT word?” And people north of the Mason-Dixie Line are referred to as “Yankees” in not so kind thoughts by the HB-words. Now, we also have the “Y-Word”.

Be Kind to Birds Weather

Today is cold. It is very cold. When I walked out to get the morning paper I’m sure it was a sight to see… running and skipping, trying to outrun the cold.

Which brings up the fact that the ground is probably frozen. Which makes life a little harder for the birds. No scratching a couple inches in the soil for seed. They better bring a little shovel along, or maybe if a human would lend them a spoon.

Some people believe that one should not put out feed in the summer time because it diverts the birds from doing their natural thing scratching out a living. But in cold frozen-ground winter I think it is ok for us to break a few of Mother Nature’s rules.

Scatter the regular seed on the ground. That is what the scratching birds, like quail, prefer. And I think sunflower seed does better in bird feeders – for the colorful birds. Also, suet helps for our little blood-thirty carnivorous feathered friends.

And don’t worry about the squirrels, they will get their share of the sunflower seed, no matter how much you try to make your bird feeder squirrel-proof, accept the fact they are smart and they are going to get their's. Just tell them to "enjoy!".

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December the 7th, 1941

Do you remember what you were doing this date 65 years ago?

I don’t. I was alive but only about 4 and half months old. We lived in a old house on Atlanta Street owned by my aunt Bee’s husband Spencer. The house was about three blocks from downtown Marietta.

Railroad tracks separated our yard from the people who lived behind us yard. Once my sister, age 3.5 and the neighbor’s boy Neal, age 2.75, was out playing by the tracks when a man walked up and reclined on the railroad tracks just as train came up. My sister doesn’t remember the bloody details.

I wonder if the invasion of Pearl Harbor inspired the man to commit himself to death like that? It was about the same time.

I talked to Neal recently at the Bell Gang Annual Reunion. He is retired from Lockheed and has a long white beard and each December dresses in a Saint Nick red suit and visit poor children…. I think he might give away small gifts to the kids.

Now, where our house was is a grassy knoll, as the beginning base of Hunter’s Bridge, a railroad bridge named Hunter’s Bridge, but that is another story.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lucile Petty

On the back of this print says "Lucile Petty in 103 year old dress". I don't know who Lucile is. Petty is probably her married names and every body in my data base is files by their birth surname.

The rhythm & blues song "Lucile" keeps wailing in my head.

Illegal To Be Nice To Illegals?

The next county north of here is Cherokee County, Georgia. For a short period in history Cherokee was the only county north of the Chattahoochee River in Georgia. Cherokee County was formed in 1832. It was land owned by treaty the people of the Cherokee Nation. Then gold was discovered… so much for the treaty.

My g-g-g-grandfather Eugene H. Tyson won a gold land lottery in 1832 and moved his family near Woodstock, which is still in Cherokee County. Eugene mined for gold on Kellogg Creek.

About a year ago I visited the Tyson Family cemetery where Eugene is the head member. It was sad to see how the surroundings had changed over the years. Used to, when I first discovered the cemetery, then it was out in the woods, in the middle of pine thicket. Now, there are paved drives and parking lots on two of the sides. One side is a store-all company and the other is the back portion of a car parts company and a coffee break on wheels company. Old car parts have been thrown in and near the graves. On that last visit a Mexican who was washing a coffee break shiny aluminum truck took time off to do a little smoothing with his girlfriend.

I didn’t mind them, but I did mind the car parts, and a few old tires discarded near the graves.

Cherokee County was divided into many smaller counties which is Cherokee County today.

Yesterday the Cherokee Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 to make it illegal to rent or lease property to illegal immigrants and to declare English as county’s official language.

I don’t see any problem as making English the official county language, I thought it was anyway…. But if retailers and service companies want to cater to the Latino community I think they should allowed to use Spanish words in their “come-on advertising”. So, I hope the new law doesn’t band that too.

But for it to be illegal to rent or lease to illegal immigrants? That sounds very unconstitutional with a bit of genocide and the caste system thrown in. They are denying a certain group of people the right of dwell…. And I think laws are supposed to be equally applied to everyone, whether one is a citizen or not.

It may have more consequences that can be foreseen. That is, if everybody obeys the law, or even if it can be enforced.

It reminds me of something similar that happened in a rural community in south Georgia less than a year ago when the local authorities there, under head from their voters, put a squeeze on all the illegal immigrants there. Guess what? After they were gone there were nobody left to do the dirty work in the fields.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Chicken Hawk (me making chicken sounds)

Drats! I missed out taking a picture of a hawk in action.

I noticed out a den window a big hawk landing on a limb close and in plain sight. He had a huge beautiful wing-span. He was studying the activities below him, which would be the area I scatter the scratching feed. There are normally small birds and squirrels feasting there.

I carefully walked slowly out of the den and got my camera and slowly moved back in. The hawk was gone.

I stood at the window and I saw the hawk in a tree at the edge of our yard. I stood still waiting to see if the hawk would return. I had the camera ready.

Then, I noticed below where the hawk was sitting a squirrel climbing the tree, about 4 or 5 feet below his feathered natural enemy. I zoomed the lens in for a closer shot.

Then the squirrel looked up and saw the hawk perched on the limb looking away. Didn’t the hawk hear the squirrel? I thought they were suppose to be super alert creatures to have superb hunting abilities. When the squirrel saw the hawk it jerked and backed down under a limb near him and peeked around the limb at the hawk. It didn’t seem to notice him.

The squirrel thought about the pros and cons of the situation and decided his best defense of an offense. The squirrel ran up the tree and was about to leap on the hawk when the hawk heard him, turned around, and almost fell off his limb – the hawk leaped into the air and flew away with that huge flapping wingspan.

The squirrel proudly, in is own way, clapped his forefeet at himself, and went on up the tree.

In the meantime, when the hawk suddenly took off from the limb he got the attention of a gang of crows hanging out in a nearby tree. The started chasing, aerial dogfighting, and squawking a the poor hawk. The poor hawk fled for the little patch of woods behind our house.

Isn’t that something? Instead of a grand and glorious hawk with a five feet wingspan we have a scaredy-cat hawk will and five feet wingspan who is afraid it might get scratched.

Jennifer Finnigan or Mrs. Potato Head?

In 2005 there was a sitcom called "Committed" starring Jennifer Finnigan, who played a dizzy dame who lived in a NYC apartment and for some reason, Tom Poston, was a retired clown who lived in her closet.

I try to catch a lot of the “Law and Order” re-runs. Yesterday, on L&A “CI”, I think it was Jennifer who was the female whose husband was murdered – she looked 20 years older than what she normally is.

Lately I have seen Jennifer Finnigan in commercials playing the sweet innocent housewife, attorney and victims on the various Law & Orders, and other parts. In each role she looked completely different from any of other roles.

She has definitely not been typed-cast. On TV and you see her playing one type, later see her in a commercial, and maybe the next day or two see her play a whacko character and never know it is the same actress. It is her acting and whoever does her makeup. She sort of reminds me of Mrs. Potato Head.. change the lips, nose, and in this case a wig and whamo! A new character.

I wouldn’t doubt if she is the actress that has been seen the most by the TV audience as a whole – and they still don’t recognize her.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Lola Gene & Bee

A few entries ago while discussing our Tour of Homes I mentioned running into a lady that said we have a common relative. She was related to Lolagene Turner Hunter, my uncle Doug Hunter’s wife, and of course, she was my aunt-in-law.

Speaking of which, the above lady on the left is Lolagene, with posing with my father’s only sister, Bee.

Once a man wrote an article about Lolagene in The Marietta Daily Journal. In his article he told of a time he was stationed at nearby Dobbins Air Force Base. He went to the a branch of the Marietta Library often. One of the librarians there was Lolagene. They got to talking and she found he was not able to go home for Christmas that year because of base duty schedules. She insisted he have Christmas with her and her family, which he did. And it became a tradition and he did so for any more years, and when he got married he and his wife would travel from out of state to have dinner with the Hunters.

Lolagene was a tall woman and so was Bee. I wonder if that had anything to do with the photographers decision as to who to pair people up to take their picture. They were both near six feet tall, and it probably would look comical if, say my mother (4’11”) was standing with them… put mama in the middle or on the side?